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> Courses > Charlottesville Session B Courses > Tuesday B Courses

The Misuse of Science and the Nature-Nurture Controversy    NEW!

This conversationally focused course takes a look at the data and assumptions of the centuries-old question: Are we more the result of our environment or of our DNA? Aristotle claimed that the climate explained Greek superiority. Charles Darwin's cousin, Sir Francis Galton, coined the phrase "nature versus nurture" and claimed our nature is all-important in determining our differences. He developed a social policy called "eugenics" to breed a better race of humans. We will examine data and rhetoric accompanying this controversy and how it has impacted current events and social inequities.

Suggested Reading/Viewing 
P. Preston Reynolds, Eugenics at the University of Virginia and its Legacy in Health Disparities, 2018, in Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity, Eds. Louis P. Nelson and Claudrena N. Harold.

Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, 2016.
watch the movie "Three Identical Strangers"


  • The Misuse of Science and the Nature-Nurture Controversy

  •  Show Description


  • Fee: $54.00

  • Instructor: Steve Platt

  • Dates: 10/29/2019 - 12/10/2019

    Times: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

  • Sessions: 6

    Days: Tu

  • Building: OLLI Conference Room

    Room: Conference Room

  • This course does not meet on November 12th.